A leading UK mortgage lender is calling upon Chancellor Philip Hammond to consider radical reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) ahead of his forthcoming Budget announcements.
In a bid to help more first-time homeowners get on the property ladder, The Yorkshire Building Society has said that the tax should be imposed on property sellers, as opposed to buyers.
The comments come after a study carried out by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks found that, amidst rising property prices, as many as 71 per cent of UK first-time buyers now pay SDLT – up from just over 50 per cent in 2006.
Yorkshire Building Society chief economist, Andrew McPhilips, said: “Levying the charge against sellers rather than buyers will help to reduce costs for first-time buyers, helping more people to get on the property ladder”.
He added: “It would also help those moving up the property ladder, enabling them to move to a more suitable property and potentially freeing up smaller homes for first-time buyers to purchase.”
“In its present form, Stamp Duty does not suit today’s housing market – it pushes up costs for those looking to buy, exacerbating affordability issues in a market where prices have vastly outpaced wage growth,” he said.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to present his Spring Budget on Wednesday 8 March 2017.